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Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Have and The Lack

Hey All!  My "producer" advised me to lay off the entry for Sunday night, because the Oscars were on, so here is a slightly delayed blog entry.

Sometimes we feel that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.  Sometimes we feel that were might be inadequate in comparison with others.  And yes, sometimes other people win and we lose.

It's OK to admit that we're somewhat fragile, and we sometimes feel sad or disappointed when this happens.  However, this does not make it OK to focus, emphasize, or unnaturally obsess over that which we do not have.

There might be negative values in mathematics.  There are no such things in real life.  You cannot assign a value to that which you do not have, or do not possess, or which does not exist in the first place.

Does someone else have an expensive possession that you can't afford?  An attractive female companion that "would never go for someone like me?"  A more exciting job?  A whole crowd of people who agree with every single thing they say?

Congratulations to them, they must be (making you think that they are always) very happy.  Enough about them, what about you?

The key here is to focus on what you have, and not what someone else has that you lack.  Chances are that these bon vivants lack things that you have!  Maybe your job has strengths that his does not.  Maybe your more modest possessions are of higher quality.  Maybe your strengths are more valuable than you realize, and when you stop mourning over what you don't have, you'll appreciate what you do have even more.

And another thing about what you do have  . . .  once you embrace its strengths and values, don't be ashamed.  Don't let anyone pontificate, guilt-trip, or insult you into thinking that you owe some of it to others who lack it.  When they do that, it's even worse than mourning over things that are lacking.  It's demanding that those who possess it give it to those who don't, just because.

There's nothing wrong with being charitable when you choose to be.  In fact, it's admirable.  But
 just like you don't demand that someone who has something you lack provide it to you, don't think you're obligated, or required, to share anything that you don't choose to share.  Let someone else be deluded by that way of thinking.

That's the jam -- love it, hate it, feel free to say so!

Monday, February 16, 2015

V Day

Who Do You Love Most?

Hey All!  Hope you enjoyed this three-day weekend if you were off for President's Day!

This past Saturday was Valentine's Day.  For those of you who are single, you might have called it "Black Saturday" or "Single Awareness Day."  You might have lamented the fact that you didn't have a sweetheart to spend this day with, and you might have cursed all those couples out there who seemed to be rubbing their abundance and your lack in your face.  You might have also celebrated the money you were saving and treating yourself instead.

Nowhere to go out?  Good!  Save your money, watch a movie, and be good to yourself.  While they're all out wining and dining as an investment in romantic love, you can make an investment in self-love.  They're having surf & turf?  Splurge on some Taco Bell!  You can make yourself laugh, you can make plans for the future, and you can think about how you'd rather spend Valentine's Day next year.

It might be that you're alone because you asked someone out and they said no.  Maybe they thought you "weren't good enough" for them in some way.  Maybe you took this to mean you were not good enough for everyone.  She is wrong, but so are you.

Rejection might be a form of bullying, but if you're bold and bulletproof, you can see that it's the mildest form of bullying there is.  She doesn't have to like you, and that's her choice to make.  But is she the end-all and be-all?  I highly doubt it.  But does that mean you should settle for someone else just so you can say you have a Valentine, and check off some unseen box on the alphaganda checklist?  No way, no how, not even close.  That way of thinking is why more than half of all marriages end in divorce.

You don't need a Valentine on Valentine's Day.   Maybe you want one.  If you'd like to have one, then have the good grace to love yourself first.  That one simple axiom, in and of itself, works better than any of the how-to guides to be a player, a pickup artist, or super-boyfriend that any of those jokers have ever manufactured. Rather, it comports with the Four Pillars -- specifically the ones about Belonging and Deserving.  If not today, then tomorrow.

Yes, you may feel like growling like Johnny Cash when you're single, muttering over those Folsom Prison Blues, and grumbling over your solitude.  Or, you might sing and groove like Barry White, knowing that with the loooooove you have for yourself, you'll be able to share the loooooove when it comes knockin', baby.

I recommend the Barry approach.  It's a lot more fun.  And it works.


Good night everybody!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Four Pillars!

Hey All!  About that time again!

Since there are now a few new readers of this blog and viewers of the video, it's only fair that I reboot the central purpose of these writings.   So here's the very first blog post I wrote, edited and updated for today's audience.

As I've grown older and reflected on the course my life has taken, I have realized that every young man, in order to survive into adulthood, must accept and adopt the following Four Pillars of Life:

(1) I Exist.

(2) I Matter.

(3) I Belong.

(4) I Deserve.

I Exist.

It would appear to go without saying that we exist.  Cogito Ergo Sum, for all the Latin speakers out there.  But this first element is too easily taken for granted.  There are too many young men who fall short of their potential and resign themselves to lowly or insignificant roles in life because they have incorrectly resigned themselves to the role of a "nobody."  They think they're just someone's son, someone's brother, someone's husband, someone's father.  They either stopped trying to attain dreams, or failed to dream new ones, or both.

When boys are small, they are very aware of their existence. In fact, it's what they're most aware of in life.  However, through no fault of their own, these boys sometimes are deceived into believing that they either do not, or should not, exist.  I’m not concerned with how it happens, but only that it happens.  If that tragically incorrect belief is not corrected in short order, confusion envelopes the boy's mind.  This  confusion leads to guilt, doubt, shame, self-loathing, and other emotions that can stunt his growth and destroy his self-worth.  Otherwise, when that boy becomes a man, he must re-learn the value of his existence, and understand that he is here for a reason. Unfortunately, this is sometimes made more difficult when the boy, now a man, finds himself attracting people who do think he does not, or should not, exist.

I Matter.

Even if these boys come to terms with their existence, they still may not be convinced that their existence is relevant.  Someone may have told them they were "slow," "underachieving," or the worst euphemism of all, "special."  They may have their weaknesses shoved in their faces by predatory elements, reinforcing the notion that they are "losers" or "useless."  If his strengths are not reinforced during childhood, and they don’t receive sufficient positive affirmations to build confidence, the boy will be convinced that he does not "matter," and must again convince himself otherwise during adulthood.  He may find himself attracting those who continue to convince him he does not matter, making the process even more difficult.

I Belong.

Belonging is something that only the boy can decide for himself -- not only that truth that he belongs, but where and with whom he belongs. However, if the boy does make that decision at the right time, he will "settle." He will associate with those who do not help him achieve his potential, but instead merely "accept" him and allow him to occupy space within their ranks.  He will not develop as a participant, or even a leader, but will only be a follower, unable to think or reason in a manner different than the rest of the "herd."  Or worse, he will associate with individuals who are toxic towards him, and derive pleasure from continuously rejecting, abusing, and bullying him, or forcing him to continuously fight a losing battle.  Resigned to a mistaken belief that those who truly would accept him will only reject him instead, and vice-versa, he sabotages this component of his development and fails to make valuable contacts and friendships that would otherwise serve him well.

Again, this must be reinforced during childhood. If not, the boy will either (a) become a recluse, believing that he cannot make any friends; or (b) ONLY associate with the wrong people.  If this is not remedied, the future will include not only difficult, but disastrous consequences.

I Deserve.

The final Pillar, to deserve, simply cannot stand if the first three have not been properly erected.  To deserve is to use the faith, belief, and courage needed for plain and simple success.  This is the underlying theme of everything that our friends Anthony Robbins, Joel Osteen, and Dr. Phil have been telling us for years in their own words -- beyond just being, mattering, and belonging, in order to ADVANCE, you must BELIEVE that you DESERVE to have what you want!  Don't write yourself off saying "it never happened" before you even tried!  And even worse, don't just go around telling people you're doing it when you have no intention of doing so!  DON'T LIE TO YOURSELF OR OTHERS ABOUT IT! DESERVE IT, PERIOD!

Why state the obvious?  Don't most guys already know this?  Not if they're faking it they don't!  As for those of us who grow up with one or more of these Pillars missing, we tend to wait on longer lines than the ones our more well-adjusted neighbors occupy. And it HURTS.  And since all four Pillars are interdependent, you can't have one missing.  For a plane to fly you can't have three out of four engines working!

And why am I focusing on these Pillars for men and boys, but not for women and girls?  Because life and nature are not politically correct.  Even if this is the 21st Century, society does not cruelly punish women for having low self-esteem or confidence, but it certainly does punish men.  Very harshly.

If a woman does not have all Four Pillars, she can most likely depend on a husband, a partner, or a family member to support her while she takes all the time she heeds to wallow in self-pity.  MEN CANNOT AND DO NOT HAVE THIS LUXURY!

So how does a man with low self-esteem survive?  Childhood is over.  Pointing fingers at our parents and their failures is not effective.  Repeating these Four Pillars, contemplating them at your job or at school, feeling them during your social interactions, and just plain living them WILL WORK.

Let's review, gentlemen:


This is not the grunt of an animal who cannot respect those around him.  This is also not the wail of a spoiled child who is granted everything without earning it, and only becomes more and more demanding.  This is the battle cry of a young man who seeks to live and profit from life.  This is the song of redemption, fulfillment, and self-actualization. This is the eviction notice to the thoughts of defeat and rejection that have been squatting rent-free in men's subconscious minds for decades.  This is the death sentence to the ill effects of bad childhoods, worse adolescences, and unpleasant adulthoods.  Again!


Don't just say it, USE it!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Big Game

Good afternoon, all!  Took a short hiatus, but chose a quasi-national holiday to come back!  Can't really fault me, many a good TV series has had its premiere right before or right after the Super Bowl - seems smart for me to follow suit.

You don't have to be a football fan to know this, but this is the end of a long season for two teams.  Regardless of what happened in the regular season or the playoffs, what happens today really counts.  This one is for all the marbles, for all the glory, for the big parade in the city that team represents.

Well, that's for the players and coaches.  How about you?

You got an even better deal than they do, believe it or not.  In the NFL, you might get eliminated from the playoffs and not make it anywhere near the Big Game without a ticket.  In real life, your season does not end until Divine Providence chooses to end it for you, and not before.

Your Big Game does not have to only come once a year.  You don't need any kind of regular season record, home advantage, or even a bigger stadium to get there.  You just have to play to win.  And the winning formula is made clear and obvious by the Four Pillars.

It's very likely that some of you reading these words might not feel like such winners.  Maybe someone has told you that you don't measure up to their standards, and you accepted that assessment as fact.  Maybe someone thought laughing at your inadequacies in front of an enabling audience was a fun thing to do, and it left a bruise.  Maybe someone pushed you to a breaking point, and you actually broke.

Good news, everyone.  The damages recited above are all curable.  They can be removed like they never even happened.  And once they are removed, you're ready to suit up for your own Big Game.  The prize will not be the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but if you win, you'll earn something far more valuable:  Dignity.  Self-Respect.  Emotional Maturity.  Confidence.  Power. 

Today, you can watch someone else make it happen.  Tomorrow, it's your turn.